Center for Ethics
The Center for Ethics at Oakland University
Congratulations to Philosophy major and Honors College student Nicole Diroff for being the first recipient of the department's Ethics Bowl Scholarship. The scholarship covers half of the tuition for the course "Philosophy 300: Ethics Bowl Preparation and Competition".
High School Ethics Bowl
The Center for Ethics supported Prof. Elysa White’s efforts to assemble and coach a philosophically-informed debate team from Berkley High School. The team, calling itself the "Philosoraptors", participated in the Michigan High School Ethics Bowl competition, which took place at the University of Michigan Palmer Commons Conference Center, in Ann Arbor, Sunday, February 7, 2016. The CFE also supported Oakland students, Jonathan Abdal, and RJ Mey, in serving as judges for the competition.
Big Ethical Question Slam
The Center for Ethics also supported the participation of Oakland undergraduate students R. J. Mey, Jonathan Abdal, Nikole Fisher, Monica Ybarra, and Karl Adam in the 2016 Big Ethical Question Slam in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Undergraduate Ethics Scholarship Travel Grant
The Center for Ethics, together with the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, supported Oakland undergraduate Monica Ybarra's presentation of her paper, "No Good Deed: An Account of the Virtue of Self-interest", at an international undergraduate research conference in Maynaguri, India, in January 2016.
Ethics Pedagogy Presentation
Prof. Elysa White gave a talk on Perspectives on Teaching Ethics to Future Professionals to professors who teach ethical content in health sciences, communication, and business writing, March 22, 2016.
Engaging Alumni in the Development of Science and Engineering Ethics Case Studies
The CFE will be helping to support Professor Mark Navin's professional development project in 2016-17, which involves recruiting Oakland alumni and other area professionals to become engaged as visiting speakers in sections of the Department of Philosophy's PHL 104 and to help build a series of science and engineering ethics case studies. These materials will be made available online through the CFE webpages in order to showcase alumni as ethically engaged professionals.
Cultivating a Culture of Philanthropy
The Center for Ethics is currently seeking funding to support the kind of "effective altruism" exercises that Professor Joyce Havstad has introduced in her sections of PHL 104 Introduction to Ethics in Science and Engineering, offered through the Department of Philosophy. In these exercises, students research charitable causes and present arguments for why their chosen cause would have the greatest philanthropic impact. After competing presentations, the class as a whole votes to select the winning cause, to which Professor Havstad donates 1% of her salary from teaching the course.
The CFE’s aim is to match or exceed full-time faculty-contributed gifts to student-selected charitable causes and also provide sufficient/complete funding for part-time faculty members so they can conduct similar exercises into their introductory ethics classes, including PHL 103 Introduction to Ethics. The center offers 35 sections of introductory ethics per year. At a total cost of no more than $7,000 per year, we aim to have a substantial impact on our community and the ethical engagement of our students.
Dr. Amy DeBaets is Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. She teaches the Medical Humanities and Clinical Bioethics courses for the medical students. Her research interests include spirituality in medicine, research ethics, and emerging technology ethics. Dr. DeBaets earned a Ph.D. at Emory University in religion with a focus on ethics and society, as well as a graduate certificate in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. She also holds M.Div. and Th.M. degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary, an M.A. in Bioethics from Trinity International University, and B.A. and B.S. degrees from Truman State University. She is a member of the advisory board of the Conference on Medicine and Religion. Dr. DeBaets is a member of the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities where she co-leads the Religion, Spirituality, and Bioethics Group. She is also a member of the American Academy of Religion, where she serves on the steering committee of the Transhumanism and Religion Group, and Societas Ethica: The European Society for Research in Ethics. Learn more:
Dr. Ami Harbin is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Women and Gender Studies and Assistant Director of Women and Gender Studies at Oakland University. Her research focuses on topics in feminist philosophy, ethics, moral psychology, and bioethics. Her book, Disorientation and Moral Life, was published in 2016, and she has published articles in the areas of moral motivation, philosophy of emotions, philosophy of policing and prisons, restorative justice, philosophy of psychiatry, LGBTQ health, and race and bioethics. She regularly teaches courses in Bioethics, Feminist Theory, Ethics, and Philosophy of Policing and Punishment. Learn more:
Dr. Joyce Havstad is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Oakland University. Her research focuses on topics in the philosophy of biology, the philosophy of chemistry, the philosophy of paleontology, other areas throughout the study of science and technology, and general philosophy of science. She also works on issues in biomedical ethics, environmental ethics, and research ethics. Her general philosophical approach is to apply carefully gathered knowledge of scientific cases and practices to her own and others' assumptions about metaphysics, epistemology, and value. She also does occasional work in non-traditional aesthetics, for a bit of philosophical fun. She has published articles on a number of topics within philosophy of science, including on chemical kinds, climate policy, protein types, homology, natural selection, and cloning. She regularly teaches courses in bioethics, philosophy of science, philosophy of biology, and ethics in science and engineering. Learn more:http://www.extinctblog.org/
Kevin Hickey teaches in the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies Program as well as in the Religious Studies Program at Oakland University and is a regular special guest lecturer for the Oakland University William Beaumont Medical School. He is a Zen Buddhist priest and President and Co-Founder of The Institute for Contemporary Buddhist Ministry. Kevin holds a graduate degree in Linguistics and undergraduate degrees in Political Science/East Asian Studies and Buddhist Studies. Kevin is the staff Palliative Care Chaplain for Beaumont Health (Royal Oak), where he leads several meditation programs and is a Clinical Instructor for the M1 Spirituality Rounds and is also on the teaching faculty for Nursing Orientation. Kevin also serves on the clinical Ethics Consultation Service for Beaumont Royal Oak. Kevin is currently pursuing a Masters of Science in Hospice & Palliative Care (MSHP) at Madonna University.
Dr. Elysa Koppelman-White is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Oakland University. Her research focuses on Ethics, Research Ethics, Bioethics, and Professional Ethics (e.g., Engineering Ethics), and she has published on a number of topics in ethics including research misconduct, public discourse in bioethics, and end of life. She regularly teaches courses in bioethics, engineering ethics, ethics, and logic. The Center for Ethics supported Prof. Elysa White’s efforts to assemble and coach a philosophically-informed debate team from Berkley High School. The team, calling itself the "Philosoraptors", participated in the Michigan High School Ethics Bowl competition, which took place at the University of Michigan Palmer Commons Conference Center, in Ann Arbor, Sunday, February 7, 2016. The CFE also supported Oakland students, Jonathan Abdal, and RJ Mey, in serving as judges for the competition. Learn more:
Ron A. May has recently retired as executive vice president of Major Enterprise Projects for DTE Energy, a Detroit, Michigan‐based energy company involved in the development and management of energy‐related businesses and services nationwide. With over 3 million customers in 450 Michigan communities, DTE Energy is one of Michigan’s leading corporate citizens. In May’s executive roles at DTE he has worked in almost every organization and on most large and strategic initiatives during his impactful career. Most noteworthy recently, he created an organization to perform project management on over $1.5 billion dollars of capital improvements yearly. The organization was recognized as a world-wide finalist of Project Management Organization of the year in 2014. This organization led the planning and project management for the now completed re-lighting of the City of Detroit. May serves as the chairman of the Oakland University School of Engineering and Computer Science Advisory Board. He has also served on numerous boards including Construction Industry Institute, University of Michigan Engineering Advisory Council, Michigan Roundtable of Diversity and Inclusion, Detroit Police Athletic League, and United Way 211. He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, The American Nuclear Society, Engineering Society of Detroit, and the American Association of Cost Engineers. He also was Vice President for Project Management Associates, an Ann Arbor based project management consulting firm. Ron May is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from Itron, the Diversity Champion awards from the DTE Energy African American Action Association, Birmingham‐Bloomfield Diversity Task Force and the Detroit Chapter of the Association of Asian Pacific Americans, the Distinguished Leader Award from Leadership Oakland, the Honorary Alumni Award from Oakland University and more. He is a distinguished volunteer for the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Detroit Chapter. In December 2016, he received the Distinguished Leader Award from the University of Michigan – Dearborn. May received his bachelors of science in civil engineering from the University of Michigan in 1973 and completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University in 2003. He performed graduate work at Eastern Michigan University, Youngstown State University and Pennsylvania State University. He also attended the Center for Creative Leadership. May is also a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, Project Management Professional, and holds a Michigan real estate license. He has served on the OU SECS Advisory Board for over 17 years. In December 2016, May was the recipient of an honorary doctorate of science in engineering from Oakland University. As an Oakland University School of Engineering and Computer Science Advisory Board member, May created, has helped coordinate and sponsor the Sharf Memorial Golf Outing. This prestigious annual event is held at the impressive R&S Sharf Golf Course on the campus of Oakland University. The outing raises funds for student scholarships, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) initiatives for under-represented students.
Dr. Kathleen Moore is Professor Emerita in the Department of Chemistry at Oakland University. Her major biochemistry research was in the formation and degradation of the acyl-CoA moieties which are critical to lipid metabolism. Other research focused on the synthesis of novel thioester compounds, the development of capillary electrophoretic enzyme assays, and the isolation, purification, and characterization of gangliosides from various dairy products. She was trained on teaching ethics to early career scientists at an NIH-supported workshop in 2004. Subsequently, she developed and taught the first offering of SCI 511 (The Ethics and Practice of Science) to diverse STEM graduate students. Most recently, she was the Principal Investigator on the NSF ADVANCEPartnership for Adaptation, Implementation, and Dissemination (PAID) Grant: Women in Science and Engineering at Oakland University (WISE@OU, 2011-2016). Professor Moore also served as Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and has played a central role in the development of faculty mentoring and support across the university. Learn more:https://www.oakland.edu/advance/
Dr. Mark Navin is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Oakland University. His research focuses on topics in social and political philosophy, ethics, and bioethics, including ethical questions surrounding vaccination and vaccine refusal, and ethical and political questions about food, gender, and international ethics. His book, Values and Vaccine Refusal: Hard Questions in Epistemology, Ethics and Health Care, was published in 2016. He regularly teaches courses in philosophy of law, global justice, ethics, and health care. Learn more:https://philpapers.org/s/Mark%20Navin
Dr. Valerie Palmer-Mehta is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and Journalism at Oakland University. Her intellectual interests sit at the intersection of Rhetorical Studies and Gender/Sexuality Studies. Her current research investigates the discursive strategies women employ to influence and transform public culture, intellectual traditions, and everyday practices. She also analyzes the rhetorical construction of women's ways of knowing and being, as well as their methods of resistance, in the media. Her overarching goal is to identify and assess the creative methods by which women question entrenched orthodoxies and establish new paradigms and values--and the level of resistance they receive when doing so. She teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses including Introduction to Communication Studies; Rhetorical Theory; Persuasion; Rhetorical Criticism; Women, Power & Persuasion; Multicultural Communication; Field Experience in Communication, and Feminist Rhetorical Theory. She is the recipient of the OU Honors College Inspiration Award, the Elizabeth Youngjohn Teaching Award, and the Phyllis Law Googasian Award. She currently serves as the Communication Program Director, as a member of the Academic Conduct Committee, and the Women's Leadership Institute Advisory Board. She also sits on the editorial boards of Southern Communication Journal and Women's Studies in Communication. Learn more:https://oakland.academia.edu/ValeriePalmerMehta
Dr. Michele Parkhill Purdie is Associate Professor of Psychology at Oakland University. Her primary research interests concern the predictors and consequences of sexual assault perpetration and victimization, with a particular emphasis on childhood trauma, substance use, and emotion regulation. She has established a strong program of research that utilizes on both survey and experimental methodologies in examining predictors of past sexual aggression and the likelihood of engaging in sexual assault perpetration in the future. She regularly teaches courses in social psychology, research methods, health psychology, and behavioral health. She is also the co-founder of the Violence and Abuse Resource Consortium at OU, which serves as a clearinghouse for university, local, state, and national anti-violence information. The VARC is a dynamic, collaborative resource connecting students, faculty, practitioners, and community members conducting anti-violence work. Thus, the VARC positions Oakland University as the heart of an important scholarly and community endeavor for compiling and sharing anti-violence information. Learn more:https://www.oakland.edu/varc/
Dr. Osamah A. Rawashdeh, Ph.D., P.E. is an Associate Professor and the Academic Curriculum Coordinator in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Oakland University, Michigan. He received his BS with honors, MS, and PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kentucky in 2000, 2003, 2005 respectively. Before Joining Oakland in 2007, he served as a lecturer at Kentucky. He absolved training at Daimler Benz AG and at SIEMENS AG and is a member of ACM, AIAA, AUVSI, ARRL, and a senior member of IEEE. His research interests include unmanned systems, embedded systems design, fault-tolerance, and reconfigurable computing. His work is actively funded by the NSF, Chrysler, Ford, GM, and others, and is published in form of 65+ Journal and conference papers as well as 5 issued patents. Dr. Rawashdeh is a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) in the State of Michigan. Learn more:http://e2r.secs.oakland.edu
Dr. Paul Reitemeier is Corporate Director of Clinical Ethics at Beaumont Health and Faculty Member in Clinical Ethics at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. His expertise is in the areas of clinical, organizational, and research ethics, having extensive experience working as a clinical ethicist, leading IRBs, and teaching in medical school contexts. Dr. Reitemeier is widely published and nationally recognized in clinical, research, and organizational ethics and health care ethics education. His leadership skills and program development experience include enhancing humanistic qualities in health professionals through focused curriculum structures, using systems management to foster compassionate patient care at the end of life, and enhancing professional and organizational integrity through integrated ethics programs. He has extensive teaching experience in undergraduate and graduate education for health professional students, bioethicists, health care administrators, and liberal arts students. His main research interests are related to the ethical components of professionalism, the compassionate care of the dying, and issues of justice in health care organization, financing and delivery, especially organizational ethics. Learn more:http://beaumont.academia.edu/PaulReitemeier
Dr. Mark Rigstad is Associate Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Oakland University. His research focuses on political philosophy, philosophy of international relations, philosophy of law, and the history of ethical and political thought. He has published numerous articles on topics related to just war theory, terrorism, republicanism, pragmatism, and early modern political thought. He regularly teaches courses in Philosophy of International Relations: Law, War, and Peace; Political Philosophy; and Ethics; and for the last several years has led Oakland University’s Ethics Bowl team to successful regional and national competitions. Learn more:http://www.justwartheory.com/
Dr. Bradley J. Roth is Professor of Physics at Oakland University. His research focuses on bioelectric phenomena, such as the electrical activity of nerves and muscle. His particular interests are electrical stimulation of the heart, pacemakers and defibrillation, magnetic stimulation of nerves, biomagnetism, and using the Lorentz force for imaging current or electrical conductivity. He is the Director of the Center for Biomedical Research at OU, and has served on the Women in Science and Engineering at OU Leadership Team, and as the Interim Vice Provost for Research at Oakland, as well as in many other capacities. Learn more:https://files.oakland.edu/users/roth/web/cv.htm
Dr. Michael Sevilla is Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Oakland University. His research focuses on the chemistry of free radical species produced by the high energy irradiation of DNA by gamma irradiation and ion beams. An internationally known radiation chemist, Sevilla has received more than $4 million in research grants since his arrival at OU. With a lab devoted to looking at fundamental properties of DNA and the processes involved in radiation damage to DNA from the molecular standpoint, Sevilla and the students who work in his lab apply physical chemistry techniques to look at biologically important systems. He has served as the chair of the Department of Chemistry and as an acting associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences; he has also served as president of the Radiation Research Society. In addition to his research, Sevilla continues to teach courses in chemistry at the graduate and undergraduate levels, including a course on the Ethics and Practice of Science (SCI 511), which explores ethical issues related to scientific integrity and the consequences of scientific misconduct. Learn more:https://www.oakland.edu/cas/archive-temp/featured-faculty-profile/mike-sevilla
Dr. Jason Wasserman is Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences at the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. His scholarly work focuses on the social psychology of ethical decision-making, medicalization of homelessness, and the sociological impacts of the epidemiological transition on medicine. He directs the Medical Humanities and Clinical Bioethics courses for M1 students, as well as chairing the Admissions Committee and serving as faculty advisor on professionalism. He also serves on the ethics consultation service for Beaumont Health, sits on the Michigan State Medical Society Committee on Bioethics, and works closely with the Oakland County Homeless Healthcare Collaboration. Learn more:https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jason_Wasserman
Dr. Patricia Wren is Professor and Program Director of the Master of Public Health (MPH) Program as well as the Health Sciences and Applied Health Sciences Programs at Oakland University. Dr. Wren’s research centers on improving health outcomes across a range of physical and mental health conditions. She started her career in public health working to evaluate HIV/AIDS prevention and service programs. Since then, she has participated in research studies related to stroke, glaucoma, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, and pelvic floor disorders in women. Currently Dr. Wren is one of four co-investigators on GRASP, a campus-wide initiative to prevent suicide and improve mental health in students, faculty, and staff. She continues to provide expertise in the design of public health interventions and the measurement of important outcomes including satisfaction and optimism, health decision-making, functional status, and quality of life. Learn more: